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Report: UFC releases Mike Pierce and 10 other fighters from roster (UPDATED)

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It's been a while since the UFC went through their big October roster purge and since then the run of fighters going out of the promotion has been more of a slow trickle than a steady stream. All that changes with what seems to be a big flood of roster cuts.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

New talent comes in, which means other talent has to go out. That's the way of being a fighter in the UFC. For most, it's not a job for long. The UFC has been signing a lot more fighters recently (including a whole bunch of heavyweights), but that means it's time for them to cut a bunch of fighters too and that's exactly what it looks like they've done.

None of this is official, we're going off the UFCFIGHTERSiNFO twitter account, which runs a ruby script over the roster and publishes the changes as the UFC updates its website. When a fighter gets deleted from the website that almost always only means one thing, that they've been released from their contract. On that note, the latest round of releases includes 10 names. Steve Montgomery, Marcio Alexandre Jr, Danny Castillo, Mike Pierce, Konstantin Erokhin, Valmir Lazaro, Akbarh Arreola, Steve Kennedy, Hayder Hassan, and Marcin Wrzosek all appear to have had their UFC contracts terminated. [UPDATE: Add Leo Kuntz to this list, making it 11 fighters released]

There's one big surprise on that list, and it's longtime welterweight Mike Pierce. Pierce recently returned to the promotion, off a long injury layoff, to take on borderline top 15 welterweight Ryan Laflare. The 35-year-old put on a spirited showing and even came close to finishing LaFlare for a fight that, while he didn't win, had him looking very much in the kind of form that took Johny Hendricks to a split decision. Still, it was his second straight loss in the UFC (albeit two years apart) and that looks like it was enough to see him out the door. Given his age, it's hard to imagine him making his way back, but he has the ability to win fights regionally so, if he's intent on competing for another few years I wouldn't put a UFC return past him.

Otherwise there aren't too many surprises. While Danny Castillo is a notable name in the lightweight division, he's also lost four straight and five of his last six. Alexandre, Erokhin, Hassan, Arreola, and Kennedy have all struggled to find winning form in their short UFC careers and as a non-TUF finalist who lost his debut, it's pretty standard practice for Wrzosek to get released. I'm a little surprised to see Lazaro gone after going loss-win-loss, with his win coming over James Krause. But his fight with Michel Prazeres wasn't pretty and lightweight is an especially unforgiving division.

Stay tuned as we'll update this article with confirmations where possible, and given that no fighters below lightweight were released, there may be more yet to come.

Note: Because the various hosting servers update at different times, these names may still appear up on the UFC website for several hours after they were removed.